Taiwan presses U.S. to include island in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

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Taiwan presses U.S. to include island in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

TAIPEI Reuters - A senior Taiwanese minister has pressed U.S Trade Representative Katherine Tai to include the island in the United States' forthcoming Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, his office said on Tuesday.

Last month, Tai wouldn't say if Taiwan would join the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific economic plan, spurring Senate criticism that excluding the island would be a missed opportunity.

Taiwan has expressed its desire to be a full member of the Indo-Pacific Economic FrameworkIndo-Pacific Economic Framework IPEF, part of the administration's effort to counter what it says is Beijing's increasing economic and military coercion in the region.

During one hour-long virtual talks on Monday, Taiwan's chief trade negotiator John Deng reiterated to Tai that the island supports the framework and wants to join it, Hsiao Chen-jung, an official from Deng's office, told Reuters.

The regional trade issues are of concern to both sides, Hsiao said, adding that the two sides agreed to keep in touch on issues of mutual concern.

A statement from Tai's office said that the two sides talked about progress on bilateral trade matters and their mutual interest in working together on issues of common concern, including regional and multilateral organizations like the World Trade Organization China, which claims Taiwan is its own territory, and that Taiwan is creating exclusive clubs. Any Taiwanese participation in the economic section would likely strain Sino-U. S. ties with Beijing were angered by any show of support from Washington for the island.